• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #355: The Seventh Day of Christmas: Buddy Elf


I still have questions about the talking narwhal.

Among the modern Christmas classics, it's hard not to include Elf in the first rank. It's engagingly and unapologetically silly, and benefits from a sublime supporting cast: Bob Newhart at his droopy best, Zooey Deschanel at the height of her offbeat-yet-sexy charm, pre-Tyrion angry South Pole elf Peter Dinklage, and surly if only mildly invested James Caan. But the backbone (and frankly all the vital systems) of this picture stem from the highest and best comedic use of Will Ferrell. His Buddy is an innocent and naive soul, the failed result of a human coming of age in Santa's workshop. His world view is so trenchantly skewed, so blissfully blithe, that we can't help but be swept up in his one-man tsunami of infectious holiday cheer. The sight gags and one-liners and culture clashes are perfect throughout. I should probably make some piquant observation about the movie's sweet soul, about the lesson that we should all let our inner elf out to play more often. But mainly, Buddy makes me laugh. Sometimes that's all I'm looking for.

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